04/02/2014 12:28 pm ET Updated Apr 02, 2014

13 Epic Animal Migrations That Prove Just How Cool Mother Nature Is (PHOTOS)

Every morning, we cram ourselves into subway trains or sit in traffic. Commuting may be a part of life for many of us, but our daily journeys are nowhere near as epic or graceful as most animal migrations.

Animals migrate for a variety of reasons -- such as to avoid harsh winters, give birth or find food -- and each migration is unique and majestic. Lesser flamingos in East Africa's Great Rift Valley migrate when lakes recede or become too alkaline from volcanic ash, for example, and humpback whales migrate thousands of miles to breed.

To aid them in these incredible journeys, migrants take advantage of their resources at hand -- like wind or currents -- to help them on this amazing journey, according to LiveScience. "You evolve to take advantage of abilities that already exist," Hugh Dingle, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, told LiveScience in 2010. "Birds already can fly, to take the simplest case, so instead of just restricting flights to short distances, you evolve a mechanism to take flights to long distances."

But, some of these amazing natural phenomenons are at risk from climate change. Extreme weather threatens food availability and habitat, especially for ducks and other birds, and some species are at risk from extinction due to climate change, according to Yale Environment 360.

With the spring migration season underway, we're taking a look at some of the most epic animal journeys in photos. Take a look below.

Epic Animal Migrations


Animal Photos Of The Week